EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani said Iran needs to navigate a middle course with regard to coronavirus-related restrictions so as to avoid “response fatigue”—as put by the World Health Organization—during a long-term battle with the infectious disease.
Addressing a coronavirus taskforce session on Sunday, Rouhani stressed the necessity of striking a balance in the face of a viral outbreak by following health regulations while keeping economic activities alive, President.ir reported.
“Employment and production” must go hand in hand with “safety protocols” to protect the country in the midst of the global health crisis, the president said.
“We cannot continue to impose stringent restrictions. Too strict restrictions lead to volatility, anxiety and depression … Society requires both physical and mental health,” he added.
“Daily coronavirus infections hit a two-month low on Sunday with 2,020 new cases, less than half of whom had developed severe symptoms to warrant hospitalization,” Health Ministry’s Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The freshly identified cases took the countrywide total to 326,712, Lari added.
After five days of reducing daily death figures, the toll increased modestly on Sunday to reach 163, taking the cumulative total to 18,427.
In line with finding a middle ground in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, the president noted that annual religious festivities commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), will be held in the coming weeks with fewer numbers and time-bound mourning ceremonies.
“We cannot fully shut down economic, educational and cultural activities, and these activities cannot resume like before the coronavirus outbreak,” the president said.
Rouhani also said the government will finance the efforts of knowledge-based firms to develop vaccines to safeguard against the respiratory illness.
Penalizing Health Offenders
Details on fines imposed on violators of safety measures will be announced by next Saturday, Rouhani said after the meeting of the national coronavirus taskforce on Sunday.
According to the president, “offices, businesses and the general public” will be subject to penalties if they are seen violating protocols issued by the Health Ministry.
The idea of introducing penalties entered the national discourse following a mandatory facemask wearing order issued by the government to halt the spread of the pandemic.
The government will also discipline any office that compels the physical presence of customers for business and tasks that can be conducted remotely via online platforms.
Over 4,000 are hospitalized in intensive care units and 284,000 have recovered from the contagious disease.
Iran has carried out 2.68 million coronavirus tests to track infections. At least 26 of the country’s 31 provinces are on red alert, or in an alarming state.
Tehran’s Governor-General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey extended the province’s lockdown disciplines for the week, including remote working for government employees, closure of high-risk businesses such as gyms, and a ban on gatherings with more than 10 people.
So far, 19.8 million have tested positive for Covid-19 worldwide, and 730,000 have lost their lives.